Good Design in Collaboration – The Rabbi and director of the Kollel of Greater Boston contacted architect Miriam Spear and myself requesting we work together to design a new building for his religious institution. Hence the first of several Jacobson - Spear architectural collaborations was launched.

The owner of a military accessories supply warehouse in Brighton was looking to sell his property and the Kollel was eager to buy. The location was perfect for the Kollel with only the no parking problem and the nasty abutter to deal with. Little did we know, the property had recently been designated as within the newly established Aberdeen Historic district, and our request for demolition was subject to scrupulous review. We gained tremendous experience meeting with the neighborhood association, the Historic Commission, the Zoning Board of Appeals, as well as the Boston Redevelopment Agency. We also came to appreciate the value of a good real estate attorney in navigating such a complicated process.

Our biggest design challenges were to create a spiritual, functional space on a very tight budget as well as to create a feeling of openness and spaciousness within a very compact and non orthogonal footprint. We accomplished our design goals and have built a little gem for the Jewish community in Brighton. SBJ Architecture and Spear Design Group continue to enjoy working together and successfully collaborate on institutional projects throughout the Boston area.

•  SBJ ARCHITECTURE, 223 Grant Ave, Newton, MA   •